Colorado's new [illegal alien] immigrant driver's license law plagued with problems

Article author: 
Jesse Paul
Article publisher: 
The Denver Post
Article date: 
22 July 2014
Article category: 
Colorado News
Article Body: 

Yolanda Vega, who came to the U.S. illegally in search of a better life, doesn't have a driver's license, yet six days a week she travels miles from the trailer she shares with her husband and teenage daughter outside Durango to clean homes much larger than her own.

Vega, 32, relies on her husband to drive her to work, using a license he obtained years earlier in New Mexico.

Presently, Colorado law makes it impossible for people like her to obtain a driver's license, but a law passed in the state legislature in 2013 is meant to change that, starting Aug. 1.

Hearing that she was eligible for a license under that law, Vega was elated.

"It's important because if you have an accident or something, you would have your license," she told The Denver Post in an interview translated by her daughter. "I could drive to work" ...

State officials now struggling with the rollout blame a lack of funding. While the state did provide some startup funds — for legal counsel, computer services and document design — the legislation states that beyond an initial $436,292, applicants are to be assessed an additional licensing fee "to cover the direct and indirect cost of implementing" the law.

Thus, licensees are charged an extra $30 to pay for the program.

Officials hoped July's early scheduling rollout — offered, DMV officials say, as a courtesy — would show any weaknesses in the system, said Barbara Brohl, executive director of the Department of Revenue ...

In order to obtain a license, an applicant must sign an affidavit saying they are currently a Colorado resident, provide proof of a Colorado tax return filing for the preceding year, and present evidence of residency in Colorado.

If unable to meet those requirements, an applicant can sign an affidavit that they've been a Colorado resident for the last 24 months and show proof of residency during that time ...

More funds needed

Licenses for All, a group that advocated for the new law, says it receives about 500 calls each day from people trying to get more information on the program, according to Nacho Ramirez, a group organizer.

Ramirez says Licenses for All is requesting a meeting with the governor to request funds for the program ...

CAIRCO Research

[Colorado] RESIDENT: Per C.R.S. 42-1-102 (81), any person who owns or operates a business in Colorado or who has resided within the state continuously for 90 days or who has  obtained gainful employment within this state, whichever  shall occur first, is considered a Colorado resident. 

Colorado Requirements for Residency:

Own or operate a business in Colorado.
Are gainfully employed in Colorado.
Reside in Colorado for 90 consecutive days.

After becoming a Colorado resident, you have 30 days to qualify for a Colorado driver license and 90 days to register your vehicle ...

Out of State Student Driver's License
  Any nonresident who is temporarily residing in Colorado for the principal purpose of furthering such nonresident's education, is at least 16 years of age, has a valid driver's license from his or her state of residence, and is considered a nonresident for tuition purposes by the educational institution he or she is attending is exempt from obtaining a Colorado driver's license

U.S. Military:
  Colorado Driver License - Exemption  Active duty U.S. military personnel  and their spouses are exempt from obtaining a Colorado driver license when they have a valid driver license issued by another state. Military personnel on active duty in Colorado and who claim another state as their home state of residence shall register their vehicle(s) in Colorado.